Monday, April 20, 2015

EuroTrip

One of the advantages to living in Central Europe is how easy and cheap it is to travel so this weekend I did just that.

Me, Jack a friend from home and Niall originally planned to go to Prague but ended up visiting three cities instead.

On Thursday we caught the night train to Bratislava which took 7 hours and was free for me as a student under 26 studying in Slovakia.
We had a carriage to ourselves which had 6 beds in it, I don't think we were meant to use the beds 'cos we got shouted at by the conductor a few times ...not that we understood a word of what she was saying!
We arrived in Bratislava the capital of Slovakia early in the morning and after seeing a few homeless guys fighting in the street we headed to the only place which was open, McDonalds.
Poshest Maccies I've ever been to...

We spent the morning in Bratislava, saw everything we wanted to see (which took all of an hour), spent a few hours in a shopping mall and headed back to the train station.
Not sure where to go next, the cheapest and most convenient place to get to was Brno so we booked the Student Agency Bus which had free refreshments, wifi and touchscreens in the seat infront of you and off we went.

When we arrived in Brno we checked into a hostel Hostel Eleven and got on the tram to check out the vet school.

The VFU Brno campus was amazing, modern buildings spread across a big campus with lots of stables and an indoor riding school.
Their Avian Clinic was awesome with flights and aviaries along one side of the building- would love to have facilities like that at UVM!
The weather took a turn for the worse so we took shelter in the pub, naturally before heading back into town.
Brno city centre seemed a similar size but much more spread out rather than one main street of Košice as we walked around the castle, cathedral and main squares.

Walking around we struggled to find somewhere to eat and it seemed really quiet considering it was a Friday evening but on recommendation from a friend we found Stopkova restaurant. I had gnocchi with chicken and spinach which was really good!
After we'd eaten there were a lot more people out and about so we went for a few drinks before trying to find Charlie's Head and "The bar which doesn't exist".

We woke up early on Saturday, went for breakfast, shopped, wondered around town and back to the coach station where planned to get the 3pm coach to Vienna but as the 1 o'clock was only 150 Czech Koruna (€5) we booked that and left early.

Austria was beautiful driving through the countryside and seemed completely different landscape compared with Slovakia and the Czech Republic - vineyards on the hills and lots of wind turbines.
The coach took less than two hours from Brno to Vienna and as there was free wifi we booked a hostel in advance near to the train station.

After checking in we hired bikes for a few hours to try and see as much as we could in as little time; they work the same way as the Boris bikes in London, pay €1 for the day and they're then free to use for 1 hour at a time. We saw the town hall, museums, Kunst Messe, Opera house and stopped for a drink in Stadtpark.

Schwarzenbergplatz

On Saturday night we went for food at Vapianos where Niall had been banging on about going for days and it lived up to the expectation.
There's different counters for pizza, salad, pasta and desert, you choose what you'd like to order and everything is cooked right in front of you while you wait.
I had Estiva pasta which is chicken, garlic, chilli, ginger, mint and rocket which was reeeeally tasty and the Weissbier was good too!
We stayed out drinking Guinness in an Irish bar and then cycled back to the hostel.

On Sunday we caught the 8am train back via Bratislava where we grabbed food and arrived back in Košice at around 4pm.
Really glad we did it and we're already planning our next trip. I'd like to go to Krakow to see Auschwitz and then maybe next year do Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam!

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